Ok seriously. We are doing this. Right?
The idea. A run. A run around the city you live in. Sounds good. The catch. The perimeter of the city you live in lies somewhere north of 60km all in. Well I guess we’re running an ultra marathon then, aren’t we?
The idea had been mentioned to me a while back while on a run with another running mate. A “what if” kind of thing. These always get me. Now I have been dedicating a lot of time (for me) to running in recent years and a considerable amount of it took place in, well you can imagine, the city I live in. Richmond BC. Running early weekend mornings, quick runs after work. You know normal running shit.
A few years ago during the pandemic I even built my own full marathon route in Richmond for the BMO virtual marathon which I ran on my 40th birthday. That route had all the good bits, the highlight reel trails, the scenery. Instagram-worthy fodder.
So sitting and chewing on the idea of running the entire city (by Richmond standards, the entire island we live on) I began to realize how much bigger the island actually is. The marathon route I did really only ended up cutting down the middle of the island, with us running mainly the western half of Richmond. To run around the island completely we were going to have to take on the path less traveled. The warehouse district, the semi trucks, the farmlands. The lesser know Richmond.
So what are we actually looking at for distance? I can’t say for sure, but somewhere between 60-65km is the estimate. There is a small section in the SE corner of the island that is not accessible by foot/bike/ or car. Locked off as part of a cement factory. I know this because we did a recon mission a few weeks ago to determine what route options we have available around there and have built the closest possible route to stay as much to the perimeter as possible.
So, who’s joining me? Not many people. The appetite to skip out on work to literally run all day doesn’t seem to be wearing off on too many friends, luckily I have some family to back me up. My cousin Ryan is always in for a good challenge, and with a larger ultra run in Oregon coming up over the summer for us, this was a perfect opportunity to get an “ultra” distance in. Plus, Richmond actually sits below sea level, so literally maybe 6m elevation gain.
We are about 10 days out from this challenge and the reality is sinking in. We actually have to run this thing! Keep posted in the coming weeks for our epic success, or crushing defeat as we take on our first “City Ultra Marathon” (and maybe our last).